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France returns to lockdown

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sounds good but I'll wait a while. Seems details of what is opening, etc aren't finalised yet.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
davidof wrote:
Claude B wrote:
By chance we were talking about Claviere, etc opening. They reckon the border guards at Montgenevre aren't bothered about tests, etc.


Maybe we can send Gavin up on his bike to check up ? Happy. I'm not planning on going to Italy before May so hope things have opened up a bit by then with the arrival of early summer.


I did the Italian Tobacco Run for the locals on Saturday... (well worth it, half price it is, the tobacco over there). I don't smoke but I sometimes offer my services for "les fumeurs" every now and again, just for an excuse to get out of the valley !
Anyway, there are no border controls/PCR checks at all going over from Montgenevre. I slowed up as I reached their little booth thing, 2 of them in there scoffing huge baguettes, they didn't even look up.
Not that I was expecting them to... rolling eyes
I wasn't on a bike though !
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
More people around here this week and "après ski" has returned to an extent. Several places are selling vin chaud etc to take away and groups are accumulating to drink there. I saw a group of Brit permanent youngish "seasonaires" outside one of the hotels, 8 perhaps. Bound to happen tbh.
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@Claude B, yep this week looking far busier than last.

I was walking around the resort yesterday and we had a very nice drink or two or three outside the Chazelay.

French Govt saying next two weeks are crucial to avoid another lock-down; yeah right just as the holidays finish rolling eyes

And as ever the Penguins were out, grouped together en masse in the equivalent of a little petri dish, which does seem so ludicrous as we all know that kids are great at spreading germs once they get back home from school!



Here's my take on affairs along with some other pictures etc

https://stylealtitude.com/french-half-term-holidays-in-the-mountains-carries-on.html
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I'm in Lyon atm. But apparently it's pretty busy back in 2 Alpes. I saw a lot of traffic heading that way as I left on Saturday.

Lyon is similar tbh. Fairly big groups drinking outside bars or eating outside restaurants. Plus of course buses, metro and shopping areas. Masks are compulsory outside here but a lot of people ignoring that.
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Do those that live in France believe there will be another lockdown after school holidays or the government do not have the stomach for it, financially or public demonstration?

If a lockdown is required shows how much of a political decision it is rather than health if they defer until after to half term to stave off backlash. If it genuinely is required public holidays really shouldn't feature in the decision making process.

In the UK feels like we could be in a never ending lockdown cycle then into tiers even with a vaccine roll out perhaps the same will happen in France. If that does happen the lifts won't turn next season either. Should be in Flaine now.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Is the tier system really going to return?
I rather liked the quote i was sent showing the absurdity of tiers:
"Having some ares in Lockdown and some areas not is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool"
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
In some respects France has been tougher and more consistent than UK. Curfew from 6 to 6 and bars, restaurants and cafes closed since late October. Yes shops are open other than large shopping centres. Schools open too. Lockdowns have always been tough here unlike UK which has only recently cottoned onto that. There hasn't been the big spike here that the UK had. Who knows tbh if numbers go the wrong way I expect another lockdown.
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@Jonpim, I'm not sure on tiers I do hope not. The goalposts do appear to keep moving so anyone's guess.

@Claude B, Must be soul destroying living in the Alps and not seeing it thrive. Certainly looks as if lifts won't turn this season particularly on the back of the Italy news, they must be reeling after spending money in preparation for lifts to start today. Half a season lost last year, all season this year lift co's must be getting close to closure. Enjoying looking at webcams but it's also like poking an open wound!.
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@James77, what I hear (although I am definitely under the impression that @davidof is way better informed than I am ...) is that another strict lockdown would be somewhat resisted.

As it is, Chamonix is pretty busy. Touring and XC kit is, well, hard to get hold of. The bars that rae open for takeaway seem to be doing well enough. And atmosphere is not far off normal.
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How are the local infection rates going?
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pam w wrote:
How are the local infection rates going?


On the Espace Killy thread, Steve Angus said that last week Tignes had between 250 and 500 cases per 100,000 and Val D over 1000.............
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It wouldn't surprise me at all if the rates shoot up .... In Courchevel yesterday the car park for the piste they have groomed was rammed, huge queues for the take away food/drinks and loads of people in town - actually busier than I have ever seen it in a normal season. Very organised and controlled - everyone masked up and socially distanced but still very busy. The problem is that although there are less people overall in resort...they are now all confined into a smaller space rather than right across the mountain. A friend of ours runs a ski shop here and has been really busy the past two weeks although he can't get enough touring skis/snowshoes etc. to meet demand......which is also causing anger from some of the Parisiens visiting when they realise they arrived too late to bag any.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I looked at the st gervais web cams yesterday, lots of people about
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Was just looking at the Les Arcs cams and certainly lots of people about - sledging, learning to snowboard etc

Surprisingly not jealous as would drive me mad being in ski resort but unable to ski!
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Read in the press this morning (which of course means it may be rubbish!) that hospitals have been asked to clear the decks and implement their crisis plans from 18 February. The proportion of new cases down to the variants has been rising, add in school holiday mixing and it seems likely they may be anticipating a significant increase in cases that might trigger another tightening of restrictions?
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@homphomp, In France I assume?

Not heard anything like that in UK and Mrs B generally gets heads up early
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Boris, yes...sorry thought that would be a given with the title of the thread, should have been clearer!
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@homphomp, I was 99% certain, given thread and your location, but thought I'd check.

Given rates seem to be dropping I'd be surprised, even allowing for holidays. Heck in UK rates are dropping and as far as I can tell there's no lockdown going on here anymore
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@Boris, overall rates are dropping but variant rates are rising, not exponentially but enough to be concerning. Cynic that I am I suspect that articles like this in the press are somewhat designed to remind people of the need to behave with a modicum of common sense.
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@homphomp, I'd be inclined to agree with you - cases/deaths all falling here, but not being reported in media as a positive news story. My namesake got another press conference this evening - sure it will be full on scare tactics and behave yourselves
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@Boris, let’s hope so. We have seen the alternative when people don’t.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We've given up for this year. Normally, we drive to Switzerland from the UK but that was a non-starter with the ban on foreign travel so we booked a cottage near Glenshee for half term (this week) and, of course, that's gone down the pan too. At least we got a full refund. I don't have any time at Easter so that's the end of it unfortunately.

Luckily, we got one in last year (Lenzerheid is highly recommended) but this year is a blow-out. Really hoping it gets back to normal next year...
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Overall rates aren’t even dropping that much. Hopefully Macron saves half term is going to work out better than Boris saves xmas.

Maybe they’re thinking if they give people this then they’ll tolerate more restrictions until Easter, and then after that summer weather will help them out and by autumn vaccines will be enough.
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Looking at the stats, the 7 day average for deatths & new cases in France is fairly level but falling rapidly in the UK
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I was surprised to see all the magic carpets running in Val Thorens yesterday, with quite a few using them... Surely, putting people together in a small, enclosed tunnel is a far better way to spread the virus, than say sitting on a chairlift?!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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I was driving back along Vallée de la Clarée (Nevache) yesterday and whilst no ski-stations nor too much in the way of accommodation it's a big area for cross-country skiing.

There's one area (Le Rosier) where the piste crosses the road and I kid thee not that there must have been two groups, upwards of 20+ young teenagers in each group all huddled together having great fun and not a care in the world rolling eyes

Where indeed most people are in one's and two's, it's scenarios like this that are just totally illogical, the people that are in one's & two's are probably parents of those teenagers and whilst they think they've been good all-day it's once they're all back home together in their apartment!!

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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I can only hope that we are allowed back in time for the summer
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We have a French/Italian road trip booked for June, which is planned to incorporate driving round Dordogne - over to Milan, via Val D'Isere for a morning skiing on the Pisallis Glacier, seeing Foo Fighters in both Milan then again in Nimes 4 days later and home.

Not very likely is it!!!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
not when you read figures like 1000 per 100,000 in Val D'Isere. Edinburgh is on 61 (that is not a typo it is 61) & she is still only thinking about opening schools for the under 7's. Everything else is total lockdown, so no it doesnt sound promising, sorry.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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But what is the year round population of Val d'isere, is that before or during holidays? We have population of 2000, has been very low. Rammed this week, likely to rise.
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Claude B wrote:
But what is the year round population of Val d'isere, is that before or during holidays? We have population of 2000, has been very low. Rammed this week, likely to rise.


Have a look on the Val / Espace Killy thread, but iirc those numbers were the week before holidays?

You can only hope that those mixing with the tourist population closely either dont have it, or caught it several weeks ago. If not, then you can see some urban areas (Paris for example) taking a spike in a couple of weeks.

It seems strange that it is so easy to move around France.

As Jonny says, we are very restricted in Scotland - even if someone (like a neighbour of mine) had a cottage near the ski resorts here it is illegal to travel to them - and the ski stations / restos / pubs are all closed anyway.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
But when France is in lockdown I can't go further than 1km for 1 hour. Not in lockdown atm but 6 to 6 curfew.
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So in VdI 1000 in 100000 was perhaps only a handful given the small population.
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Claude B wrote:
But when France is in lockdown I can't go further than 1km for 1 hour. Not in lockdown atm but 6 to 6 curfew.


Yes, but that is the very think the thing I find odd, the huge disparity between those extremes -


Lockdown - 1km / 1 hour

All other times? travel as far as you want to wherever you want within that 12 hour period.



Anyhow, I guess we will find out how all these strategies play out in the next few months.
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France has been pretty flat since Christmas we didn't have the huge spike that the UK had. It remains to be seen if the holidays will have a big detrimental impact.
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the webcams for Saint Gervais does show a lot of people up the hill, doing everything but skiing but in saying that it is no different from the amount of sledging I saw around Edinburgh with recent snow.
I think everyone is now starting to struggle with the restrictions.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
No idea how it's allowed, but my brother is (in about half an hour) driving from his home near Biarritz to go skiing/boarding for a few days in the Pyrenees.
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@Jonny996, there are a fair number on skis as well, presumably having got up the mountain under their own steam. (For example top of Mont Joux, makes me wonder if the Folie Douce is selling takeaway drinks).

@Claude B, I agree, France has done pretty well though I am sure they feel the plateau of cases is at too high a level. But the comparison with the UK is instructive, we would almost certainly have avoided the huge January spike if Johnson hadn't opened up so massively after our November lockdown.
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I do wonder if any enterprising locals with a skidoo are offering lifts up the mountain?
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